Why The New York Jets Jets Need To Trade for Andre Johnson

TOJ Staff Writer Dalbin Osorio breaks down why the New York Jets should trade for Andre Johnson

Now that the dust has settled on the NFL Draft and the Jets have begun to sign their rookies, attention has turned to rookie mini-camps and who has a realistic shot at making the 53 man roster. Personally, I was very pleased with the draft haul; Mike O’Connor’s breakdown on Dexter McDougle, Connor Rogers’s breakdown of Calvin Pryor, and the selection of first round talent Jace Amaro in the second have left me feeling downright giddy.

What can the New York Jets do to close the gap on the New England Patriots? Last season with a rookie QB, the Jets and Patriots split and had a combined score of 43-43. The gap isn’t as wide as many may think. Plus, whereas the Patriots have stood pat on offense The Jets have added WR Eric Decker and RB Chris “CJ1K” Johnson to an offensive nucleus that already featured Chris Ivory and Jeremy Kerley. The Patriots added Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner to shore up their secondary. Good moves, for sure. However, there is one move that John Idzik needs to make that will give the Jets a legitimate threat to not only compete against New England, but against the rest of the AFC contenders. That move? Trading for Wide Receiver Andre Johnson of the Houston Texans.

Andre Johnson gave an interview to the Houston Chronicle this week where, seemingly frustrated with being a part of another rebuild, Johnson voiced his desire to return to the playoffs and not waste away any more years of his potentially hall of fame career in mediocrity. I believe this stems, in large part, to Houston’s inability to draft one of the top quarterbacks in the draft as well as Johnson playing for his 4th head coach in 11 seasons.

While I do believe that Houston is not your typical two win team and could easily see them becoming the latest team to go from last to first in one season, Johnson doesn’t see it the same way. It became clear with his comments that Johnson wants out. Andre Johnson is coming off of his 5th career 100 catch season, went over 1,000 yards for the 7th time in his career, and has played at least 13 games 9 out of his 11 seasons. Wide Receivers with over 900 receptions, 12000 yards, and 60 TDs do not become available every day.

The last time a player of this caliber became available? Try Tony Gonzalez, who had just made the Pro Bowl again when his lifelong team traded him for a second round pick. Do you offer a second rounder? Yes, because Andre Johnson is THAT kind of player.

The Jets passed on DeSean Jackson, and caught a lot of flack for this despite character concerns raised about Jackson in the wake of his release from the Eagles. There are no character concerns like that with Andre Johnson.

He’s 32 years old, but wide receiver isn’t a position like running back where your body begins to break down as you near 30. Terrell Owens caught 277 passes and 39 touchdowns after turning 33. Marvin Harrison had 175 receptions and 18 touchdowns after turning 33. Art Monk had 210 passes and 16 touchdowns after turning 33 as well. And, if Johnson can duplicate what the aforementioned Gonzalez produced in Atlanta after being traded (428 receptions, 37 touchdowns), then a second round pick looks like a steal. A trio of Andre Johnson, Eric Decker, and Jeremy Kerley gives your second year quarterback Geno Smith three great route runners that feast on man-to-man or zone coverage.

Revis, Brandon Browner, and that Patriots secondary (amongst others) will have a hard time covering all three of them. Some have pointed out Johnson’s contract as a reason you don’t make this trade. A trade for Johnson is an immediate $11 million cap hit and only 10 teams in the NFL could incur that hit without an adjustment. The New York Jets are one of those teams.

General Manager John Idzik has done a great job replenishing the Jets talent level through the draft the last two off-seasons. Idzik has, also, done a great job of clearing the salary cap of toxic contracts with an extension looming for franchise player Muhammad Wilkerson. The Jets currently have approximately $24M in cap space. After signing their rookies, they should have $17-19M left over. Trading for Andre Johnson still leaves them with $6M-8M in cap space. And, they are projected to have over $60M in cap space next season as well to extend both Wilkerson, Damon Harrison and Kerley. This is a trade that won’t impact the Jets’ ability to resign their own guys going forward or be active players in free agency.

Idzik has refused to use the word “rebuild” when describing the Jets. A move like this, trading for a player like this, proves that he was right to not use it. Pick up the phone and dial area code 281 Mr. Idzik.

Author: Dalbin Osorio

Dalbin Osorio is a Case Planner for Graham-Windham, New York's oldest child welfare agency. He is, also, a student at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Dalbin graduated from Monroe College with a degree in Business Administration. A 3 sport utility man in high school (think a mix of Jerome WIlliams, Brad Smith, and Jayson Nix), he joined TOJ in 2013.

  • The Dude Abides

    Yeah adding him would be awesome, even if he’s at half speed he would do some damage. Problem is dude won’t come cheap. What he will cost will be way away from What Idzik will pay considering his track record with free agents. He’ll end up with a big spender looking to make the last push. Ah well we can dream.

  • John Hunter

    The mere fact we’re in the position to trade for him……thumbs up to John Idzik

  • So he’s upset basically because they have no offense and basically being on a team that never accomplishes anything to go to another team the jets who are the same. Yea I’m sure Johnson will agree to that deal that makes sense. C’mon man are there ever any ppl who actually think things thru befor they leave stupid comments? But no everybody WANs to comment and only think on what they wish for instead of realizing that he’s going to call the shots on this and I gate to tell u jet fans but the pats are the team that gist the bill

  • Sorry for mis spells but it’s my tablet

  • Dalbin,

    I think getting a quality guy like this would be great, however, I just don’t see Idzik giving up a 2nd round pick, and doling out $11mm, to do this. If you believe the guy doesn’t over react and sticks to his game plan, then how can you believe there is any chance he would add AJ after he wouldn’t go after DeSean Jackson, who is younger, who’s contract has a lower APY, and who would have cost zero draft picks to acquire? Not only would I be surprised by a move like this, it would also suggest, to me, that Idzik was a bit desperate. Had he added a CB, in FA, he could have gone after 1 of the 15 WR drafted in rounds 1-3. He could have signed DJax, or even taken a flier on a guy like Hakeem Nicks. He has his plan, and it appears he’s going to stick to it. If he doesn’t execute it, he’ll pay for it. If he wins, he’ll be celebrated. Andre Johnson won’t be wearing green and white unless Houston released him…and that’s not happening.

  • joe dante

    I don’t think Idzik would make this move. I don’t think Andre Johnson would choose the Jets either unless there are no other teams making a trade offer. He wants to end up on a team like the Broncos, Pats, or Seahawks. Carolina might be a good fit but I dont know their cap situation.

  • Freddie Mac

    The Pats have no money remaining. This is true with all the contenders whereby most are set at WR.

    If you guys have learned anything from this offseason it’s that teams no longer give up draft picks to attain cap casualties. Allen, Peppers, Revis, Ware, Chris Johnson…no one gave up even a 7th rounder for these pro-bowlers. Teams simply assess a situation and sit back and wait for the impending release. Throwing a 2nd rounder for a guy very few need or can afford would be extremely wasteful.

    Someone gave kudos to Idzik for being in this situation. I wouldn’t necessarily agree. To be in this situation is good from the money side but it also indicates that Idzik was unsuccessful in signing that second starting WR or drafting one. But it seems that the vast majority have no intention of critiquing his results in any way. I hope you all aren’t so PC in real life. People should hear about their shortcomings to learn from mistakes to improve. Placing a smiley face and giving everyone a gold star for their efforts will stunt any such progression. Aside from Lidman, almost no one dares placing any constructive criticism on the new GM. The fact is, there’s no viable #2 WR (unless you think Nelson or Shaq are the guys) and the second CB position is being manned by Patterson. No upgrade at the OLB position with no change to the OLine or ILB position (that ranked last in coverage) with no depth at safety or 3-4 DE outside of one player – Douzable.
    I think he could’ve done better with the picks and money at hand. But we move on. It would just be nice to see some hint of honesty here. Surely not all of you are enamored with every transaction and pick. Say so. This is a blog for honest opinions. And it should be maintained to express without insult.
    And to be fair to Idzik, I thought he did a great job his first year with what he had to work with. I just expected more with how he set the table regarding his acquiring extra comp picks and building cap space. I think he needs to better understand the market value of free agents and learn to better negotiate if he hopes to actually sign the marquee players.

    As for Andre’s take – he’s using this contender speak just to find some justification for his bad contract which allows Houston to cut him next year. He wants a 2-year deal that guarantees him some more cash before he hangs it up. He stupidly represented himself years ago and missed out on market value and was grossly underpaid compared to his peers. Players should learn from his mistakes.

  • Joe Caporoso

    Good read Dalbin! Personally, I don’t see this type of move happening but you make a strong case for it here. I’m curious to see how much pressure Andre puts on Houston to move him.

    KAsh – Good share on that Nimbley article, which is one of the best things I’ve read this offseason. Does a great job of explaining Pace’s value and how the Jets D works.

  • Dima

    I think it’s silly to mortgage your future for a guy whose job is to catch balls when we’re not sure we have anyone who knows how to throw them. Would you trade Jace Amaro straight up for Andre Johnson?

  • He still has a couple of good years left so it’d obviously be great to get him. I just don’t see it happening.

  • Frank Antonelli

    I don’t believe this will happen, but this is what Idzik meant when he said there are plenty of options that will be available all the way up to the start of the season and that is one of the reasons he has maintained some flexibility, namely, to jump on opportunities like this that present themselves. This is why you don’t jump on Idzik 7 days into free agency, unless you’re a hater or an idiot.

    P.S. Even the idiot Cimini and the clown Manish wouldn’t be ignorant enough to state that ”But this is essentially the same team”! Even they know that adding Decker, Johnson, Vick and 12 draft picks in a loaded draft improves any team.

  • Dalbin

    Thank you for reading guys, I appreciate it. This isn’t a move that I think Idzik will make because, as Lidman alluded to, it doesn’t strike me as an “Idzikian” move. However, this is a move that he SHOULD make because I do think it makes sense from a football standpoint. Not every second round draft pick is Jace Amaro, and adding Johnson even at his cap number isn’t a bad move. However, i’d be perfectly content with going into the season with Decker, Kerley, and Saunders in the slot. The assumption that Kerley can’t play in the slot is misguided, as he’s proven that he can. With Amaro needing to be accounted for, Kerley one on one versus most “number two” corners is a matchup that will favor the Jets on most days.

    I, also, don’t agree with the notion that i’m being dishonest when I say I am happy with the way the offseason has turned out; I am honest. I’m more patient than others, so i’m good with it whether they deal for him or don’t, but I do think adding Andre Johnson to what you’ve already added this offseason is an easy sell. However, like it was stated; it doesn’t mean anything unless Geno takes that next step. If he does, then great. If he doesn’t, then it may not matter what WRs we have.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Assuming Johnson is willing/able to force the Texans to trade him, he would certainly help the Jets.

    I’m not convinced that Idzik would necessarily be against trading for him (depending upon price), as, other than his age, I think trading draft pick(s) for him would be similar to the trade for Chris Ivory. However, he may be satisfied with the current depth as the team has added 6 players to catch passes this offseason (Decker, Johnson, Amaro, & the 3 WR draftees).

    I do not think the DeSean Jackson situation is comparable at all as Johnson, to the best of my knowledge, does not have the character issues that D-Jax has.

  • Freddie Mac

    JJ, the point of comparison was simply that he could become a cap casualty that won’t be given a draft pick in a trade. No one said anything about the situations being mirrored.

  • Freddie Mac

    It looks like someone has a faulty memory chip and doesn’t have the balls to make a prediction…

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Why would the Texans release him? That makes no sense, like most of your posts, Freddie Mac.

  • Freddie Mac

    Awww. Sorry about that JJ. That really hurts.

    You got me. It’s all a made-up story.

  • Frank Antonelli

    JJ … Great post!

    When the Jets are successful most of the negative posters with the exception of Lidman will do one of two things:

    (1) Disappear from the board – the preferred outcome!
    (2) Say that the Jets success was based on luck and it won’t last and they are still right.

    These clowns will be very upset because they are more interested in being right than having the Jets succeed. They don’t want to be exposed for what they truly are!

    P.S. Even the idiot Cimini and the clown Manish wouldn’t be ignorant enough to state that ”But this is essentially the same team”! Even they know that adding Decker, Johnson, Vick and 12 draft picks in a loaded draft improves any team.

  • I don’t know if that’s a compliment or a criticism…so, I don’t know if I should agree or disagree!!!

    Frank…I love your persistence with that last piece, but please take Vick off it. While I realize Idzik brought in the ‘best available f/a QB out there’, he stinks; and if the team has to play him, they’ll likely be picking quite high next year, with a new Head Coach, and a GM on the hot seat. Recent history suggests he’s incabable of leading a team to a winning record.

  • Joe Caporoso

    So I just checked IP addresses and Freddie Mac is John X. Back reincarnated! That is now 3 different comment names and counting for JX!

  • Joe…you ruined it!!!!!

    Next you’ll tell me there isn’t a Santa Claus….

  • LeeBur

    no!!!!!! dont ban him though. I love reading Freddie/JX comments. they crack me up.

  • Womp Womp


  • Frank Antonelli

    Lidman. It’s a compliment. I respect your opinion although I hardly ever agree with it! I’m positive that if you turn out to be wrong you’ll be happier than if you turn out to be right. That is the difference.

    P.S. John X sounds about right! He should learn that this site is called Turn ON the Jets NOT Turn OFF the Jets!!!

  • Frank Antonelli

    Lidman. Regardless of your opinion of Vick, the vast majority of people agree that he is an upgrade over our backup situation since at least 2009. Also, Geno and him appear to have a genuine friendship and he could be an excellent mentor to the young QB especially since he is so familiar with this offense. As long as he is our backup then I see it as a positive but if he becomes our starter then yes that would be a problem.

  • LeeBur

    Agree with Frank. Plus at least Vick can run, which brings an element we havent seen in a while. A guy able to run away from a sack is always useful.

  • Dan in RI

    Andre Johnson, Eric Decker and Jace Amaro would give the Jets 3 plus sized receivers. Add Kerley and Johnson out of the backfield, and the QB has all the targets he could hope for.

    Unfortunately, it will never happen.

  • KAsh

    I think Dima hit the nail on the head. It sounds like Johnson is not happy that he will have Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tom Savage throwing him balls this year. I doubt Johnson will view Michael Vick and Geno Smith as that much of an improvement, especially with that rumor that we were going to pass the ball 15-20 times per game. And we did not address wide receiver in the draft until the fourth round. Johnson might not be thrilled to come here, and might raise the same locker room problems here as he has in Houston.

  • Mike D

    The future is now. Get him and lets win. He is good for another 2-3 years. We will have a scary offense with him and our other players. I’m sick of losing. Who wants to win?